Posted in leadership, performance

Dealing with Difficult People

Wait your turn. I was here first.
Wait your turn. I was here first.


“Acceptable behavior is set from the top down. Cue-conscious subordinates learn quickly what is tolerated, what is permitted, and what is encouraged.”

Everyone has difficult people in their lives. Difficult people usually have mental tapes based on their life experiences. One tape is to see people as tools that can be manipulated. Another tape is a continual running loop of lack of self-consciousness that causes people to develop an “us against them” mentality. A final common tape is accruing power-control and power to create good leaders. To respond successfully to these issues:

Do not let other people do unto you what you would not do unto them.

Do not let other people do unto your employees what you would not have them unto you.

Be firm with nonperformance.

Inappropriate, incongruous, and inept actions and judgments can be just as intolerable and unacceptable in terms of job performance as failure to perform or complete assigned tasks.


 Cite: Ashworth, Kenneth (2001) CAUGHT BETWEEN THE DOG AND THE FIREPLUG: or How to Survive Public Service, Washington, DC, Georgetown University Press



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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